Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Media Spike #16 -Everything Old Is New Again
Hail and well met, thanks for joining us for a few minutes today.Are you a fan of television? Do you like just flipping the channels endlessly, or are there specific programs you’ll make time for? I ask because it seems television has taken an unfair beating in recent decades. Do you remember the enormously successful Back To the Future™ movie trilogy with actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd?  There’s one scene where time traveling Marty McFly (Fox) finds himself seated at the dinner table with younger versions of his grandparents.

They’re excited to see Jackie Gleason on the black & white TV. To Marty it was a classic ‘rerun’, to the rest it was brand new. The year was 1954 and television was just finding its mark. It was a BIG DEAL to have a television back then and the technology was in its infancy by today’s standards. But it paved the way for programming to evolve to bring us what we have on our screens today.

That may be better or worse, that’s your discretion and choice and I’m not moralizing here. But, what I have noticed is the shorter and shorter attention spans we seem to have as viewers.  Programming now has to be lightning quick it seems to hold our interest. Now you can have TV on your laptop, streaming programming or other handheld devices. The technology is truly impressive. Frightening too, it seems but impressive nonetheless.

So as an advertiser, what do you do? Television is getting more and more splintered and fragmented. Each new season unveils shows that make the first cut in the Fall, but fail to maintain our interest in the New Year. Well intended replacements are trotted out. More marketing muscle behind them. Some flourish. Some wither and don’t even make it to ‘Whatever Happened To’ type of programming.

Despite this constant reinvention, Television lives. That is perhaps what keeps it fresh and relevant.
It IS constantly being refreshed. New faces, styles, looks, program mixes. More sports. More skin. More drama. Less sitcom. More reality…..and the tide will turn again where all of those mores are less, and less made more. All in the interests of keeping you attracted to it.  It is perhaps the ultimate wardrobe where if you don’t like what you’re wearing today, there’s ALWAYS something new on the next hanger the next day.

Part of the trade here is that it continues to be among the most expensive options for marketing your products and services. The nature of my work has allowed me to invest in a litany of Television programs for many clients- large and small-through the years.

Despite relatively deep pockets for one client, I was startled to find one program, offered at a Prime evening time slot was also a prime cost. One, just one, thirty-second spot on this program was a whopping $77,500. That’s ONE (1) spot.  At a time when other high-ended programming was commanding $25-$30K, this one leapt off the page. It was tremendously efficient as it delivered a huge and targeted audience, but that level of investment is a full annual budget for many clients.

Television, just like all the other media players, is a powerful communication tool when used smartly. Locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally, Television commands attention. In a preamble to a more detailed Golf analogy to follow in this series, Television continues to be the Driver in your Golf bag.  You might not need it to play every hole, but people pay attention when you can lace your drive long and straight down the fairway.

Stay tuned.

P.S. In Media Spike #2 of this series, we mentioned Marshall McLuhan, a prominent Canadian professor and ultimately communications icon. His thinking still resonates today. I found this clip of his work and thought you might enjoy.

- Dennis Kelly
About Me
Dennis Kelly
A professional to his fingertips, Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media brings a deft touch as your media magician. Extracting incremental media value for you from suppliers is second nature for Dennis. His versatility in all media is bred of 3 decades of hands-on media planning & buying experience in the media trenches. As a steward of your media budget, Dennis excels in delivering smart, efficient, creative and targeted campaigns to showcase your creative to the right audience.

Dennis is the author of “ 9 Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising” and is available to Masthead Reader for $197 through a special offer at this link
Most Recent Blog Comment
Dennis Kelly says:
Thank you Gloria. What a perfectly apropos link. Thank you for sharing that. You are quite correct. ...
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